Zurich Finnacial Group announced today that it had sold Zurich Afore, its private retirement fund management company in Mexico, to the Principal Financial Group. Five days ago, Zurich confirmed a net loss of US$ 387 million for 2001. The disposal of Afore is part of a new strategy in which the group will exit fund management and focus on insurance, particularly in western Europe.
Zurich has sold its third party reinsurance business and agreed to sell Zurich Scudder Investments to Deutsche Asset Management, and acquired from Deutsche Bank a 75.9 percent stake in Deutscher Herold Group and 100 per cent of Deutsche Bank’s life insurance operations in Italy, Spain and Portugal. Deutsche Bank has also agreed to distribute Zurich products through its European branch network, while Zurich has agreed to sell Deutsche banking and asset management products to its customers.
“We are disappointed by the poor underwriting and operating results in 2001. Along with the entire industry, our Group was adversely affected by the events of September 11 and by weak equity markets,” explained Rolf Hppi, Chairman and CEO of Zurich Financial Services. “These developments overshadowed the significant progress made in repositioning the Group. Zurich has a portfolio of strong businesses and is well positioned to take advantage of favorable conditions in life and non-life, but remains cautious in light of the uncertain risk environment and economic conditions.”